Washington plans to open a US interests section in Tehran; Senior State Department official ‘present’ at EU-Iran talks; EU-Iran talks make little headway
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  • In a plan that reversed over three decades of American diplomatic posture towards Iran, reports note that the Bush administration was planning to open a US interests section in Tehran. Since the 1979 Iranian resolution and the hostage crisis, US interests in Tehran have been looked after by the Swiss Embassy. The shift in the position of the Bush administration, which has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout its tenure, comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks of increasing tensions due to Israel’s war games and Tehran’s long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.

    In other developments, Amb. William Burns of the US State Department attended the EU-Iran talks on the Iranian nuclear standoff that took place on July 19. The discussions however did not make much headway. Iran circulated a 2 page document at the meeting titled, “The Modality for Comprehensive Negotiations - Non Paper.” It did not make any concession on the Western countries’ demand to stop its enrichment programme. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran on July 14 not to continue to “stall” and held the possibility of more sanctions if it defied a two-week deadline to accept the proposals1.